Marketing and Strategy

We analyse important marketing and management issues, communicating our findings to both the business and academic worlds. We believe we can only do this effectively by achieving the highest standards in research, teaching and consultancy work.


Our academics are well known in their fields and have published work in leading marketing and management journals. While we cover the breadth of marketing and strategy, we particularly focus on four key areas of research activity.


Our retailing research addresses relevant problems or challenges by applying rigorous techniques and methods. This helps produce conclusions with impact. The uniting element is the use of rigorous, state-of-the-art methods. Increasing attention is placed on research involving Big Data – for example, modelling and predicting behaviour in retail settings.

Recent research includes:

  • Managing retail and service businesses
  • Developing sustained competitive advantages, retail technology and innovation
  • Investigating chain-profit models
  • Improving franchise businesses
  • Understanding the changing role of consumers, employees and organisations in a solution selling environment
  • Assessing changing and evolving relationships between customers and firms
  • Making marketing activities measurable.
Sales and Innovation

Research in this area revolves around the implementation of innovative sales approaches and systems.

Recent research includes:

  • Sales, product and service innovation
  • Team-based selling
  • Managing the implementation of innovative customer service approaches
  • Employees’ ability to offer innovative customer services
  • Management of the company’s sales force for product innovations and green products.
Strategy as Practice

This research draws on sociological perspectives to study the micro-activities of strategy work. Rather than seeing strategy as something that organisations have, we conceptualises it as something that people do through everyday activity – with tools, materials and each other. Several of our researchers have made significant contributions to theory and real-world practice.

We study the roles of different strategy practitioners, including senior managers, middle managers, consultants, professionals and external advisors.  We also focus attention on the micro-practices and routines that actors use, for example, when working with strategy tools, interacting in strategy meetings or running strategy workshops. To get close to the action, SAP typically uses qualitative methodologies, such as interviewing, ethnography, participant observation or video-ethnography, to capture the fine-grained action that unfolds when strategies are being developed, negotiated and enacted. 

Recent research includes:

  • The creation and use of strategy tools
  • The practices of strategic planning
  • Implementation and change
  • The role of top and middle managers and topics related to identity
  • Institutional complexity and ambidexterity
Decision Making and Strategy Process

The Marketing and Strategy Department has a long tradition of quantitatively studying firm-level phenomena such as strategic orientations, slack resources, strategic planning and strategic flexibility and their influence on firm performance. More recently, work has focused on managerial-level issues such as strategic thinking, sensemaking and other facets of management cognition, strategic options and the strategy tools used in decision making.

We use a range of methods appropriate for investigating complex issues in decision making and strategy process research. Recent projects have incorporated qualitative cognitive methods, including sorting techniques, cognitive mapping and laddering techniques as well as in-depth interviews and observations in case studies.

Recent research includes:

  • Brand management, and how consumers conceptualise brands 
  • Decision making in top management teams responsible for strategy implementation
  • Decision making in teams responding to a crisis
People and Publications

A departmental overview (including people and publications) can be accessed on Aston Research Explorer.

Honorary and Emeritus Professors

Professor Leslie de Chernatony
Honorary Professor

Professor Gordon Greenley
Emeritus Professor

Professor Graham Hooley
Emeritus Professor

Professor Nick Lee
Honorary Professor 

Professor Peter Leeflang
Honorary Professor

Professor Malcom Macdonald
Emeritus Professor

Professor John Rudd
Honorary Professor

Professor John Saunders
Emeritus Professor